Humans have always felt like they need to preserve the present for future generations. The earliest suspected time capsule dates all the way back to 1777. It was found in Burgos, Spain, and contained treasures like a wooden statue of Jesus Christ and documents about the politics, culture, and economics of the time.
Those findings were relatively boring compared to some of the creepy and interesting contents we’ve dug up out of other time capsules.
Einstein Left Us A Message From 1939
For the New York World’s Fair in 1939, the first of two time capsules was buried, not to be opened for 5000 years. Inside were some common items and essays on microfilm, but most interestingly was a letter written by Albert Einstein.
What’s extra creepy is that the letter could have been written today. The famous scientist spoke about how we’re able to “send messages and news without any difficulty” but that people “live in fear of being eliminated by the economic cycle.”
One Child Claimed To Be “Dead” In A Time Capsule
In 2016, a construction crew began demolishing an old elementary school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, they discovered a bottle that appeared to be a classroom time capsule from 1968. Inside it were notes from the kids talking about their favorite tv show (Lost in Space) and favorite band (The Monkees).
One note stood out though. Written by a kid named Greg Lee Youngman, the note said “I am dead” and that he “was born in 1900.”
A Disturbing Video Was Left Behind At A Hospital
Construction workers in Indiana stumbled across a time capsule while excavating the grounds of a former mental hospital. The time capsule, buried in 1958, included a film where the hospital staff spoke about their different techniques like electroshock and insulin shocks.
In the film, the doctors specifically say that the “psychiatrists of the future” will know “how well we’ve solved our treatment problems.” As we now know, those techniques did much more harm than good.
Some Devout Soviets Left A Secret Time Capsule
In 2012, a time capsule was accidentally discovered underneath a statue of Vladimir Lenin. It appeared to have been buried by members of a Soviet youth organization and wasn’t meant to have been opened until 2024.
The time capsule contained letters from the youth praising Lenin and saying that they don’t feel sorry for their own struggles because they’re confident “the people of the future would be better.” Well, we all know how that turned out.
Nazi Paraphernalia Was Found In A Polish Time Capsule
Buried in 1934, a copper capsule was discovered in 2016 in Złocieniec, Poland. It was buried on the grounds of a former Nazi training camp. In the time capsule, there was photographs, newspapers, and not one but two copies of Hitler’s book Mein Kampf.
It seemed that the Nazi officers didn’t want the time capsule found or destroyed though. Researchers had to break through thick concrete, groundwater, and multiple landmines to find the time capsule.
Paul Revere Hid His Own Time Capsule
In January 2015, construction crews in Boston found a time capsule dating back 1795. It was interred in a cornerstone that Paul Revere and Samuel Adams laid. The capsule contained just a bunch of coins and newspapers but they were really, really old ones.
The time capsule was so important for American history that its contents are now resting at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, alongside the silver plaque that commemorated the cornerstone.
A Jokester Buried A New Hampshire Time Capsule
In 2015, residents of the town Lebanon, New Hampshire, unearthed a time capsule from underneath the steps of City Hall. It was placed there by a man named Samuel Stevens, who was the former city surveyor.
The capsule was an old whiskey bottle that dated back to 1944 and included a single note that said “Whoever finds this bottle may keep it. Sorry there is no liquor in it, but I drank it all up.” The jokester also said he hid other whiskey bottle time capsules all around the town.
The MIT Time Capsule Was Opened By Accident
MIT students decided to secretly bury a time capsule in 1957 and it wasn’t supposed to be opened until 2957. Construction crews accidentally unearthed it in 2015 and while they didn’t mean to open it, they cracked the side and were forced to reveal the contents.
Inside the capsule was some pretty average items like newspaper clippings, a university mug, and coins, but they also had some cool 1950s items like a vial of penicillin.
One Time Capsule Foreshadowed The Rise Of Mussolini
A group of stonemasons was repairing a building in Southampton, England, in 2016 when they found an old lemonade bottle with items inside. One of the strangest items inside the bottle was an empty cigarette carton with “Mussolini threatens war” written on the back.
The note appears to be written not long after Mussolini rejected the peace treaty offered by the League of Nations. Stanley Jeffery, George Groves, and Fred Pearce knew what they were talking about.
A Hiroshima Fingernail Was Unearthed From A Time Capsule
For the 1970 Japan World Expo, two time capsules were buried. One is to be opened in the year 6970, and the other was opened in the year 2000. The capsule opened in 2000 contained a slinky, a set of glass eyeballs, and shockingly, a black fingernail donated from a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.
The capsule will be added to and reburied every 200 years. The haunting black fingernail should remain intact since fingernails do not decompose.
No One Expected To Find Cake In A Time Capsule
A funeral home in Niagara Falls was being renovated in 2013 and stumbled on a time capsule buried in the walls dating back to 1948. The contents were pretty normal at first: a newspaper, some postcards, and some handwritten notes.
What was really strange was that wrapped up in the wax paper and tin foil was a slice of cake. Some home baker from the 1940s must have been really proud of their cooking skills to put it in a time capsule!
A Rumor Turned Out To Be True With A Boston Time Capsule
A historian had a chance to check out a rumor when they were working on conserving the Boston State House in 2014. Allegedly, there was a time capsule hidden in the gold lion’s head when it was set atop the building in 1901.
When the statue was removed it was proven to be true. The time capsule held a box of newspaper clippings, photographs, and a Roosevelt McKinley election button. All of it was hidden for years unknown.
An Opera House Wanted To Show The Future What Singing Was Really Like
In 1907, the Paris Opera House decided to store away 24 original recordings of their top opera singings. The iron time capsules were meant to show people of the future what the vocal techniques of the past were like.
Unfortunately, half of the recordings were broken into and stolen sometime during the 20th century. The rest survived though and in 2007 it was discovered after the Opera House installed an air-conditioning unit. The contents are now in the National Library of France.
A Grandpa Hid His Own Personal Time Capsule
While cleaning out his grandmother’s house, one guy discovered that a cabinet had a false bottom that was hiding a safe. The grandmother had no idea it even existed and asked her grandson to open it. Inside the safe was a time capsule.
On the front, read “Abandon All Regret Ye Who Enter Here” which is a line from Dante’s Inferno. Inside were some regular old items like a pen and small lamp but the warning on the outside is definitely the creepiest part.
An Entire Apartment Was Turned Into A Time Capsule
Most time capsules as buried deep underground but this one is a little different. A French socialite owned an apartment in Paris but fled the city in 1942 when the Nazis invaded. She continued to pay for the apartment though for another 70 years, but never returned.
After she died, her family members finally discovered the apartment which was kept as pristine as a time capsule. Some of the strange items inside included a $2 million painting and a vintage Mickey Mouse toy.
The Century Safe Was One Of America’s First Time Capsules
In 1876 on the centennial of America’s founding, New York published Anna Deihm decided to create one of America’s first time capsules. Inside it, she placed items like a book about temperance, some photos of President Ulysses S. Grant, and a gold fountain pen.
She buried the capsule at the U.S. Capitol and shockingly, people almost forgot about it. Thankfully, someone remembered to unearth it just before it was set to be opened in 1976.
No One Could Find Steve Jobs’ Time Capsule
During a 1983 talk at the Aspen International Design Conference, Apple inventor Steve Jobs contributed to the conference’s Time Tube. He placed a ‘Lisa Mouse’ inside it which was a wireless mouse you would navigate presentations with. The Time Tube was meant to be excavated in 2000 but the problem was, no one could find it.
The Time Tube was only uncovered in 2013 after the TV show Diggers finally decided to go looking for it.
A Legion Didn’t Know There Was A Time Capsule Right In Front Of Them
The American Legion Post 76 in Arlington, Washington, had no idea that the artillery shell that was sitting in the lobby for decades was a secret time capsule. They discovered it by accident and were surprised to find the contents dated back to 1934. The capsule included magazines, a menu from the local hotel, and a trench lighter from WW1.
The Legion was even more surprised to find that the capsule has been discovered before. Inside was also a note that said: “Thank you for the brandy.”
A Telescope Factory Left Behind An Invention
In March 2015, the Brashear Telescope Factory in Pittsburgh was being demolished when workers found a 19th century time capsule. Inside was what claimed to be “one of the first pieces of optical glass made in America.”
The factory was founded by Dr. Brashear, who was a former astronomer and manufactured a wide variety of scientific equipment. The building was repurposed in the 1940s to make bombsights for World War Two and eventually it shut down.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp Members Made Their Own Time Capsule
Despite their difficult journey some of the prisoners at the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz found the strength to leave behind multiple time capsules. The prisoners concealed bottles that were stuffed with notes and sketches of camp life.
The capsules were discovered on the grounds of the camp in 1995. The first-hand accounts shed light on some of the acts that took place in the camp. After more than fifty years, the prisoners of the horrific concentration camp finally had their voices heard.